A Rocky Road



The remaining time that Mr Darcy was at Netherfield passed peacefully, with Elizabeth becoming even more of a sister to Georgiana than before. At last, the day to journey to Pemberley came.

Darcy POV

The day to journey to Pemberley came at length. The day was warm and sunny, the perfect day to travel to my beloved home. I could not believe that Elizabeth would be joining me on this journey. I was looking forward to showing her the majestic gardens in which I had played as a child. I dressed quickly and went to the dining hall of Netherfield. To my surprise, Bingley was already there, along with Jane. Bingley never arises before me, excepting today.

"Bingley, what are you doing?" I ask, giving voice to my surprise.

"Gracious Darce! You must think poorly of me if you think that I would not rise to farewell one of my friends before they journey home." He says with a smile.

I smile. "Of course not. I am merely surprised as this is not the norm."

I sit and break my fast, as I am anxious to be at Longbourne in a half hour in order to make sure that the journey is done mostly in daylight. Georgiana enters the room, prepared to travel.

"Good morning dear sister." I greet her, smiling all the while.

"Brother, you are happy this morning. Why is that?" she replies, teasing me. something that she must have learned from Elizabeth.

"You know very well the cause of my happiness." I say with a smile.

Georgiana smiles in return.

Once I have broken my fast, I hurry to have the carriage ordered to the door. I farewell both Bingley and Jane, promising that I will continue to come to Netherfield.

I assist Georgiana into the carriage and climb in myself. The carriage jolts forward as we exit the gates of Netherfield. After a few moments, we arrive at Longbourne, to find Elizabeth standing there with a selection of luggage beside her. Her father stands beside her, along with some of her sisters.

Once the carriage stops, I alight and walk over to Elizabeth. I bow over her hand, the temptation to kiss it overwhelming me completely. I kiss her hand before straightening. I lead her over to the carriage once she has said farewell to her family. I assist her into the carriage and alight myself. Once more the carriage rolls along the road.

I stare out of the window as the chatter of Elizabeth and Georgiana fills the carriage.

Elizabeth POV

The journey has begun after much anticipation. I am glad that papa allowed me to come on this journey to my new home. I want to follow Fitzwilliam's example and stare out of the window, however I must converse with Georgiana. I find that she is a sweet girl and we have much to converse of, namely the antics of her brother when he was younger.

Her stories make me smile as I try to imagine the man before me catching tadpoles and falling into the lake and then being scolded by his father whilst his cousin stood by and continued laughing at him.

As the journey continued, I began to realise that I missed my family so much. This caused me to think about the life I would lead once I became the mistress of Pemberley. Would I be able to continue to see my family? Would they be allowed to visit?

Tears began to fill my eyes; however I tried to hide my feelings. By this time, Georgiana was sleeping against her brother's shoulder as the light in the sky begins to fade into darkness.

I hear Fitzwilliam's voice, trying to converse with me, but I am too absorbed in my feelings and thoughts to notice. I look out of the window at the changing landscape, trying to remember the countryside of my youth.

As I continue to look at the countryside, I feel Fitzwilliam shift in the carriage and sit beside me in order to comfort me. He takes my hand, asking if I am alright. I am silent, as tears course down my face, rendering me unable to voice my feelings.

He does not move, but continues to wait for me to speak. As the time goes by, he relapses into the silent, impassive man that was introduced to me at the Meryton Assembly.

Darcy POV

I gaze out of the window and realise that since the beginning of the journey that Elizabeth has not uttered a word directed at me. I shift Georgiana's sleeping form to that she is laying fully down on the seat and shift across to sit beside Elizabeth. I attempt to converse with her, however she makes it clear that she does not wish to converse with me. She does not even acknowledge my presence.

I can only hope that this passes, and continue to look at the countryside as it glides by. Eventually, the silence is broken by Elizabeth herself. She says that she is fine in response to a question that I had asked her, but I can see the pain that she is going through- it is clearly reflected in her eyes. She seems distant and unreachable, as thoughts of her family flood her mind.

We spend the rest of the journey in silence. I continue to look at the view, and begin to notice signs that I am nearing my home with the one I love. Elizabeth smiles at me, trying to be happy for my sake, but her smile never reaches her eyes. I am not blind, I know the truth- she is severely unhappy. At this point, I am unable to change this fact, but hope that once we arrive at Pemberley, perhaps Georgiana may be able to be of assistance in welcoming her to the mansion that has seemed so empty for so long.

As we drive up to the gate, I am overcome with anxiety that Elizabeth will be impressed and fall in love with the house and the beautiful, sprawling gardens. I remind her that her friends and family will be always welcome to the house, but it does little to change the tense mood in the carriage. I watch as Elizabeth continues to stare out of the carriage window, clearly thinking of the life she used to have. I never seem to know what to say, so I continue to look at Georgiana for her assistance, but remind myself that I will be home soon, where the problem will be able to be discussed, and hopefully resolved, as soon as the gatekeeper hurries and opens the gate. It feels as if an eternity passes before the carriage continues to move through the gates, but it had only been a few moments, in reality.

The carriage pulls up at the entrance to the house, and it is as if I am seeing the house through Elizabeth's eyes for the first time. The giant pillars rise high above me, looking imposing. I am daunted momentarily by my own home, which is slightly odd, as I have never felt this way before. I help Elizabeth out of the carriage, her hand clutching mine tightly. Georgiana reassuringly looks at me as she is handed out of the carriage- she appears like a light in the gloom, making me feel safe and confident.

Georgiana is immediately able to make Elizabeth feel welcome, smiling at her warmly. Elizabeth seems to be making an effort to break out of her own thoughts, and into the present. I am so proud of the both of them, each in their own way.

We make our way inside, with Elizabeth and Georgiana chatting away. I take this opportunity to ask a servant to prepare a room for Elizabeth to stay in until after the wedding. I then make myself comfortable, removing my cravat and coat and then going back down the grand staircase.

Georgiana is playing the pianoforte in one of the many sitting rooms, but Elizabeth is nowhere to be seen. I ask Georgiana where she is with a level of despair in my voice. Startled by my tone of voice, Georgiana replies that Elizabeth is in her room, changing her clothes and will be back shortly. I feel terrible that I have clearly made Georgiana frightened of me, I'm her brother, the one meant to reassure her when she is upset or nervous, not make her scared! I tell her I will not be present at dinner and to apologise to Elizabeth for me. I then proceed to go back to my suite, somewhat storming up the stairs.

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